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## Uses this 2020

December 19, 2020

### Hardware

This year has seen some changes in the way I do my computing. I’m bound by my day job to a certain manufacturer and their software, which is not something I’m complaining about but given the choice I would probably use a Thinkpad and Linux just because I prefer the tiling window manager paradigm. This year I’ve been mainly using my iMac pro with 2 external monitors for a total of 3. I think this setup is great because I always have a ton of windows open at any given time and I usually need to see some bit of information in one to make progress in the other. During the first half of the year I was using a single 4k monitor with a Macbook Pro but I found that to be less efficient.

I’m one of those lucky few that didn’t run into any issues with the butterfly keyboards on the Mac. I think it’s a pretty sweet keyboard and used it exclusively for the first half of this year. But after I switched to the iMac it was back to the good old mechanicals. The craziest thing I did this year was to get a 60% Royal Kludge keyboard. It has cherry browns – my favorite. The user manual that came with it was pretty bad so I had a hard time understanding how to configure it properly and replaced it with something else after a while. Later this year I gave it another chance and did some experimentation to understand how the modes are supposed to work and eventually came up with a configuration I liked. It’s a nice board once you get used to the missing arrow keys (macOS really helps there with the universal emacs keybindings) but it becomes difficult to use other boards once you adjust. This was reason enough for me to stop using it as I can’t spend brain cycles on remembering what keyboard I’m typing with right now.

I’ve been using the same cheap-o mouse since 2019 which is still working after a year, a nice surprise. These white label electronics usually crap out after a while. I’m not really playing 1|0 bullet anymore so the mice get to survive longer I guess.

### Software

The majority of my time is spent in Xcode, Safari and the terminal. I use an almost vanilla bash config with git auto completion stuff that I added manually. I stated using emacs a lot more this year but haven’t completely switched over from vim. The best app I’ve purchased this year is GoodNotes. The pencil support is so much better than Apple notes app. I started importing my PDFs into GoodNotes to use the pencil to annotate stuff. I was using Apple notes to keep my journal and notes but I decided to find a better replacement for it. The idea behind roam and the zettel kasten method lead me to org-roam. I’ve known for a while the power of org was legendary but never gave a serious try as it looked more like a todo list and schedule manager. But with org-roam it’s very easy to take notes, link them and add images. I could not find a great way to have them sync over to my mobile devices but it’s not that big of a deal. I can use a plain text editor with iCloud support to manually edit them if the needed arises. I had migrated all my journal entries to an intranet Wordpress instance but have decided to switch to org-roam’s daily feature for journaling to reduce to the number of apps. I’m still in the progress of migrating them (there is a lot to migrate).

Tags: #misc